|Freddie the Frog|
|Portrayer|| Nicholas Lyndhurst (2010-2011)|
|First seen||"Rock & Chips"|
|Last seen||"The Frog and the Pussycat"|
|Date of birth|| Circa 1919|
(died September 1963)
|Occupation||World War II soldier, criminal, frogman, unemployed|
|Family|| Joan Trotter Sr. (lover - deceased)|
Cassandra (daughter-in-law, wife of Rodney)
Joan Trotter Jr. (granddaughter)
Norman (cousin - deceased)
Frederick "The Frog" Robdal is a professional criminal appearing by name, and eventually in a photograph, in the popular BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses, as well as finally making an appearance in the 2010 prequel Rock & Chips as one of the main characters.
Del and Renee were discussing Del and Rodney's state of life when Renee stated that, on talking to Del and Rodney's mother, Joan, as she lay on a hospital bed (presumably not long before her death), Joan said, "If only I knew where he'd hidden it, Reenie, my boys would be set for life." Del, understandably, claims to not know who or what Renee is referring to, and so on probing Renee further learns of the full story surrounding Freddie and Joan.
In the prequel Rock & Chips, Freddie and his partner and sidekick, Gerald "Jelly" Kelly, an explosives expert, were both released from Dartmoor Prison in February 1960 after a ten-year sentence. They returned to Peckham, where Freddie first met Joan, and "befriended" her.
Renee describes Robdal as a "bit of a dandy", implying he was very cultured man, very much interested in French wine and paintings, claiming that when the Police raided Robdal's holiday home, it was full of original Monet's.
As with his general background, very little of Freddie's life is revealed, save for those elements pertinent to the Trotters. Albert told the boys Freddie earned his nickname because, during his national service, Robdal was a trained frog-man. Renee described him as a "gentleman thief", who never used guns or violence in any of the crimes he committed.
As the story goes, Freddie and a small gang of crooks broke into a bank in London in August 1963 and stole £250,000 pounds (pre-decimal currency) in gold bullion. The rest of the gang were apprehended by the police, but Freddie managed to somehow escape, taking the gold with him.
Knowing that the police were still hot on his trail, Freddie approached a newly-opened funeral directors in Peckham, run by the father of Rodney's future employer, Mr. Jahaan. Freddie ordered and bought a coffin for a "friend" who had recently passed away, "Alfred Broderick", claiming that he was a large man and that a coffin of considerable size would be required. The Jahaans complied without question, being as their newly formed business was eager for the work, and supplied the casket but did not handle the actual funeral ceremony.
Freddie then took the casket (containing the gold) down to Hampshire in order to hide the loot under the guise of a burial at sea. He owned a small holiday chalet there (which was hidden the stolen paintings), and was the location of his parents final resting place in the grounds of a small church. Freddie apparently loved the church that much that he donated the stained glass windows. The official documentation for the funeral was provided by Joan who, being a cleaner for Peckham Council, had full access to documents and stamps Freddie required, as she regularly cleaned out the Registrar's department.
The gold was successfully hidden in the sea off the South Coast of England using a fully legitimate funeral service for the aforementioned "Alfred Broderick" (in reality, an anagram of Freddie's full name). Those who attended the funeral stated that Broderick, who obviously few people knew, must have been a large man, as it took 8 people (including, ironically, two off-duty policemen) to carry the coffin to the boat.
Freddie, who knew the waters off the South Coast very well, planned to return to reclaim the gold once the investigations for the robbery had settled.
In September 1963, roughly a week after the robbery and hiding the gold, and whilst still on the run from the police, Freddie and Jelly attempted to break into a post office in Plumstead. With Kelly having set the wires for the explosive and the robbery apparently proceeding very well, Freddie inexplicably sat on the detonator, killing both men almost instantly. Albert claims that Freddie's body was found on the roof of a building opposite the post office he was intending to rob.
Paternity of Rodney Trotter
The true identity of Rodney's father remained a constantly questioned mystery throughout the entire series, largely due to Joan's notorious repeated infidelity.
The seeds of suspicion that Freddie may have been Rodney's father were sewn by Reenie when she said to Albert, "I reckon the rumours were right, Joanie never was 100% sure, but you can see a likeness, can't you?"
Rodney's suspicions were also raised when Del unwittingly revealed that a henchmen to the Driscoll Brothers claimed that Freddie had a son by a woman living on the Trotters' estate, and also because Rodney and Freddie also shared a talent for art.
The case was finally put to rest in the 2003 Christmas special "Sleepless in Peckham", when Rodney found a photograph of the 1960 Jolly Boys' Outing and sees many faces he recognises. Instantly, he sees a man in the photo who looks almost identical to himself and realizes that the man in the picture is Freddie. Their uncanny likeness leaves both him, the rest of the Trotters and the audience in no doubt that Freddie is Rodney's biological father.
Del also admits that he knew Freddie as "Uncle Freddie" back then.